Do you feel dizzy with the avalanche of social media material that lands on your computer every day? I do. I get pop-ups appearing uninvited, requests from people I’ve never heard of, multiple emails from a website I showed a vague interest in months ago, plus so much more!
In a world where everyone seems to be getting more and more connected online, many of my coaching clients tell me that they feel hugely disconnected. They miss good old face-to-face conversation. They miss people looking up to say good morning at the bus stop, they miss chatting around the lunch table at work, they miss interaction with their children.
Teenagers tell me that they struggle to focus and concentrate on school work because of the constant distractions demanding their quick attention.
It is now a known fact that young friends get cross with one another if a reply is not received immediately. On a daily basis, our kids live with the fear of missing out on group chats and thus being isolated.
Other customers, many of whom are business owners, bemoan the battle to get noticed on the internet. With over one billion websites and trillions of snippets of information there is so much noise, so much material, so many marketers competing for our attention! A common complaint is that people suffer more than ever from the debilitating state of overwhelm, which can lead to high levels of stress and cause damage to both the body and the mind.
I was disturbed, but not surprised, to read recent research which shows that Facebook posts promoting frustration, envy, lust or anger get the most attention. So what are we feeding ourselves? Is it hurtful or helpful to our mental state?
Just because we are connected to something online, doesn’t mean that it is what’s best for us or our children. Most web algorithms today are based on what is trending and often the lowest common denominator of user preference wins, which means content that doesn’t require much thought, trivial posts, meaningless tips, or laughing at someone else’s faults become popular.
And as we all know, just because something is popular that doesn’t necessarily mean it is good for us.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that after basic shelter, food and care, human beings yearn to belong. We see it in our children when they want to be part of a group. Unfortunately, in our digital world, a lot of kids and adults feel isolated. Although they may appear to have many ‘friends’ on Facebook, the total number of close, genuine, caring friends can often be counted on one hand.
In an effort to promote community and true, honest, genuine connections, I started a women’s group earlier this year. Once a month, I invite a local business owner or friend of mine to share their inspiring story with the group; I encourage the ladies who attend to openly communicate, swap phone numbers, find shared interests and support one another. I have personally met everyone on my mailing list and it is the way I will continue to grow my business.
We live in a first world country and are blessed with comfortable lives, but therein may lie a problem.
The comfort zone in which we live, can actually be a really uncomfortable, unfulfilling, lonely place to be.
I would like to challenge you to consciously connect. Really think about which websites attract your attention. Make an effort to connect with organisations that are striving to make a positive difference in our world. Share meaningful, uplifting content with your connections. Maybe then, we will see more social justice pop-ups and charity promotions. We may even feel re-energised about the internet. By living a life that is emotionally and spiritually rich, we can have a positive influence on others and encourage them to join us in creating a more caring, consciously connected world.
Are you sharing something meaningful every day? Let us know below!
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